Governor Cuomo Highlights Successes From First Academic Year of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

May 15, 2016

From the office of Governor Cuomo

Exceeding expectations, seven graduates receive the first of its kind, undergraduate minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that the first seven students graduated with the newly created undergraduate minor from the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity located at the State University of New York at Albany. The minor was launched ahead of schedule in May, 2015. As of May, 2016 the six course minor had an enrollment of over 275 students, exceeding enrollment targets and making it the 7th most popular minor at the University (of 63 minors at the University), surpassed only by business, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, communications, and English.

“The unique curriculum taught at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity plays a vital role in ensuring we are prepared for emergencies such as extreme weather and terrorist threats that are increasingly becoming the new normal,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to congratulate these students who represent the future of public safety and emergency preparedness in New York State.”

With longstanding and growing partnerships with the State of New York, CEHC is bringing together existing resources and developing new opportunities to support growing needs of the state and beyond in the face of expanding risks and threats.

The 39 credit undergraduate major in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity has passed review on the University at Albany campus and the SUNY Administration and is awaiting approval from the State Education Department. The proposed program includes a broad liberal arts core curriculum, which includes courses in ethics, critical inquiry, risk management and leadership; unique interdisciplinary concentrations in the three topic areas of emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity; and extensive applied learning requirements (research seminar, internship, senior capstone project, and training).

Additionally, the five-course CEHC Graduate Certificate in Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity has also been launched. Offerings are being expanded, including new courses from other departments on campus, Albany Law School, and SUNY New Paltz’s disaster mental health program, among others.

“Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision, this first class of UAlbany students to graduate with a minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity will be in the vanguard of this emerging field,” saidUniversity at Albany President Robert J. Jones. “The extraordinary interest in this minor is a testament to UAlbany’s expertise in these areas, as well as the high demand for professionals who will be prepared to address the new threats and challenges we face.”

“The response of our undergraduate students to the new minor has been amazing, and is likely related to their recognition that the topics being addressed are some of the most critical facing the world today – severe weather, cybersecurity, immigration, human trafficking, terrorism, and disasters,” saidCEHC’s Interim Dean David Rousseau. “We find that students want to understand the underlying causes of violent extremism, policies that can curb cybercrime, and strategies to manage and respond to the spread of Ebola or Zika. The world is challenging them to think differently, and our program aims to expand their knowledge and skills so that they may be responsible and effective leaders in these fields of growing importance.”

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “This is one of the many successes of the Governor’s goal of making the safety and security of all New Yorkers a priority. I applaud the University of Albany for making the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity a leader in the field and for preparing these students to continue to keep New York safe and strong for years to come.”

In partnership with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, CEHC held its first three credit winter session blended learning course at the New York State Preparedness Training Center, in which students applied theoretical concepts and gained practical lessons through simulated responses to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The simulation was designed and delivered by CEHC faculty and the College’s National Center for Security & Preparedness, with support from the SPTC, as well as the New York State and Oneida County Offices of Emergency Management.

The graduating students are:

  • Greg Bedik – Mountaindale, NY – graduating with a major in informatics with a concentration in interactive user experience, and a double minor in Spanish and emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Anthony Cone – Clifton Park, NY – graduating with a major in criminal justice and a minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Daniel Giannettino – Chappaqua, NY– graduating with a major in criminal justice and a minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Tyler Grodin – Amawalk, NY – graduating with a triple major in globalization, economics and Spanish, along with a double minor in Latin American studies and emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Joeie Lum – New York, NY – graduating with a major in sociology and a double minor in criminal justice and emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Phillip Waknin – Queens, NY – graduating with a double major in criminal justice and theater and a minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.
  • Jhilene Walker – New Rochelle, NY – graduating with a major in globalization and a minor in emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity.

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo announced that the University at Albany will redevelop 12 acres in the southwest corner of the Harriman Campus to construct a new Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurship Complex which will house CEHC, as well as headquarters for the New York State Mesonet, a state-of-the-art weather observation system developed to support better planning for extreme and dangerous weather events.

In January of 2014 during the unveiling of his Reimagining New York for a New Reality, with Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Cuomo announced the creation of the Nation’s first College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity under the State University of New York system to maintain New York’s position as a leader in state and national security. CEHC is the very first standalone college dedicated to the topics of emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity, providing highly comprehensive academic programming for undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them to meet the challenges and risks that we face today.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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